When they're hurting, help them find their joy in You, for it's Your joy that will be their strength. Help them to trust You as their God of hope. Fill them with Your joy, peace, and hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Help them experience the love, joy, and peace that are the results of His life in them, no matter what they're going through. (Nehemiah 8:10b; Romans 15:13; Galatians 5:22)
31 For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. 32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. 33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. 34 To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land, 35 to deny people their rights before the Most High, 36 to deprive them of justice— would not the Lord see such things? 37 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? 39 Why should the living complain when punished for their sins? 40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. 41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: 42 “We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven. 43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity. 44 You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through. 45 You have made us scum and refuse among the nations. 46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us. 47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction.” 48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed. 49 My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief, 50 until the LORD looks down from heaven and sees. 51 What I see brings grief to my soul because of all the women of my city. 52 Those who were my enemies without cause hunted me like a bird. 53 They tried to end my life in a pit and threw stones at me; 54 the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish. 55 I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. 56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” 57 You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” 58 You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life. 59 LORD, you have seen the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause! 60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against me. 61 LORD, you have heard their insults, all their plots against me— 62 what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long.
I was recently given this prayer by an Eastern Catholic deacon. I love it because it is a prayer of abandonment and trust in God for the daily details in our lives, and expresses well how much we need His help to live each day well. It has become a new favorite prayer to recite in the mornings as I begin my work day. I hope you benefit from this prayer as much as I have!
Merciful God, in the birth of your Son Jesus Christ in Bethlehem you became one of us; you shared our joy, suffering and pain. We thank you for taking refuge in Egypt and for identifying yourself with refugees and victims of political power. We thank you for your suffering on the cross and for identifying yourself with those who suffer from injustice and live under occupation.
The child you embrace has a name that is dear to the peoples of biblical religion: "Jesus," which means "God saves." So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21). In the face of the newborn Messiah, we recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited. We recognize especially the faces of your children, to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.
Is your heart troubled? Are you feeling like the psalmist, who asked his own soul, "Why are you in despair? And why have you become disturbed within me?" One of the hardest parts of knowing peace is understanding how it has nothing to do with control. If you're having trouble with trust or finding the words to pray above the howling of the scary storms, feel free to offer up these words to the Lord now!